Well my sweet mama is the obvious number one female influence in my life. How so? A million trillion ways beginning with how I mother my own children, the role faith plays in my everyday being, my love of books, the way I cook, the value, importance, and intent I put into home and family. I am my mother in so many ways.
I feel lucky to have grown up beside a very dear neighbor, a woman who influenced me probably far more than she realized. I was a teenager and she was a young mom, and she was so special to me. When someone mentions Proverbs 31 she is the person who comes to mind. She was a woman of deep faith, gentle, warm, intelligent.
She'd had a career prior to having children, but when I knew her she was in a season of parenting young children, completely devoted to her husband and girls. She found great joy and personal contentment in being a wife and mom, and this was a message my longing heart needed to hear. She had more patience than anyone I've ever known, and the way she lived her life inspired me to be my best self.
Finally, I'm going to say my daughters. They amaze me on a regular basis and make me want to be everything they think I am.
2. In what ways do you think women have it easier than men?
Killing spiders and dealing with rodents falls under hubs domain, so there's that. I'm not sure easier is the word I'd choose. I think we have it 'differently' than men, not neccesarily easier or harder. When I think about how our marriage works I struggle to articulate what it is I find so freeing about the fact that we are different. Every man-woman relationship stands on it's own, so I'm not generalizing here, but...
When the world threatens to overwhelm, when it all feels too fragile for my heart to hold, I know I can hand it off to my hubs and he knows what to do with it. Mend it, save it, fix it, change it, take charge of it. I think men feel the weight of that sort of 'hand-off' in ways women don't.
Will an illustration help? How about this-if we're standing on the edge of a cliff and one of us has to jump, he'll be the one to jump. He'll do it without me asking, prompting, or pushing because of that weight I just mentioned.
3. What do you need most right now: faith, love, hope, or peace?
Thankfully we don't ever really have to choose, but if I'm picking one for today it's hope. I cannot imagine living a single day without hope.
4. Do you have a collection? If so, what do you collect and why?
Well I might collect beautiful pottery. Not on purpose really, but I have a hard time passing by a pretty dish, platter, or pitcher without picking it up, looking closer, and quite often buying.
I don't make a point of collecting, or adding to what I already have, or telling people I collect it. I just really enjoy looking at beautiful pottery all around the world and buying a piece now and then. Adding it to my 'collection'.
5. Plaids, checks, polka dots, stripes...your favorite?
It depends on what we're striping, plaiding, checking or dotting. I like a tartan plaid throw on a couch by the fire. I like checks and stripes in decorating, but again it depends on many other factors. I have a couple of plaid shirts, and several with stripes (vertical only please). There's something really happy about polka dots, and I do have a sweater that's polka dotted, but mostly I like them on bags, gift wrap, that sort of thing.
This question is too hard. I can't choose a favorite.
6. In what ways are you the same as your childhood self?
I still wear my rose colored glasses. They're a bit scuffed and scratched in 2016, but I continue to see the world from a glass half full point of view.
7. You're a contestant on the TV game show Jeopardy. What category will you ace?
I always enjoy the word-related categories. Shocking I know, but words are my jam. I like idioms and proverbs, phrase origins, quotes, separated by a common language, homonyms, rhyming words, grammar and language and other similar topics. The word ace might be over-estimating my ability, but I don't think I'd hang my head in shame with these categories either.
8. Insert your own random thought here.
Speaking of influential women...can we just discuss this picture for a moment?
Look who's rockin' the plaid shorts-ha! Maybe I'll take back my answer to #5 and go with plaid after all. That's my mother-in-law wearing the striped top.
We are so very young.
It's the first thing that hits me when I look at this photograph. I have no idea what year it was taken, but I'm going with 1986. There's nothing in the background to give me a frame of reference, but those shorts definitely say 1986.
As do my super skinny arms and my unadulterated brunette hair.
Thirty years ago we sat in lounge chairs on a sunny summer day.
Relaxed. Chatting. Familiar.
It's how I always picture us in my head. How I like to picture us still.
My mother-in-law celebrates a big birthday this week, and I look forward to celebrating and spoiling her just a little.
I got the best one y'all.